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Cody, Wyoming Wishes You a Merry – and...

December 23rd, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

This morning as I was sitting in my favorite Cody coffee shop biding my time until my next guests’ flight arrived, I was expecting to see a parade of stressed-out shoppers getting in line to latte-up before heading back out to cross the next thing off their list. Didn’t happen. Sure, the tables were full and the line was long, but the smiles on the faces of the java-lovers were genuine and easy, not at all like that Grinch-like toothy, forced smile that we all use when we’re trying too hard.

And those quick, easy smiles illustrated my thoughts. In Cody, Wyoming, living, celebrating, visiting, touring and learning is easy. It’s the way we do things in Yellowstone Country.

It’s as easy as having our small, efficient airport just five minutes from town. As easy as having a wide range of hotels and guest ranches with friendly staff and rooms for any budget. As easy as shopping in our small, friendly, well-stocked shops and not having to worry about parking and crowds. As easy as being welcomed to join our year-round festivals and events and not being made to feel like a stranger.

Like most of my friends, I live and work in Read More

Shopping Local, Cody Style

December 22nd, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

 I love to shop in Cody. I love to shop for clothes, jewelry, shoes, boots, coats, sports equipment, furniture, one-of-a-kind treasures, memorabilia, artwork, books, music and jewelry (which is so much fun to shop for, it deserves a second mention). Heck, I even love to go grocery shopping. But I detest the impersonal nature of shopping malls, strip malls, big box stores and online shopping.

Fortunately for me, everything I need to purchase for everyone on my holiday list is right here in Cody/Yellowstone Country. Here are some of my favorite places.

Museum stores – Both the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and Heart Mountain have distinctive gifts including locally made jewelry and pottery, clothing, posters and artwork and many, many books and DVDs. I found a great DVD called “The Legacy of Heart Mountain” for the history buff on my list.

Unique one of a kind furniture is perfect for the hard-to-buy-for person.

Galleries and artist shops – I love Cody’s unique galleries, many located along our main street, Sheridan Avenue. The folks in these stores invite shoppers to browse and ask questions, and they never, ever use high-pressure sales tactics to sell their beautiful pieces. Many of the galleries carry Read More

Hey Fifth Graders, Wanna go Skiing at...

December 11th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Even though I am a spontaneous person who usually waits for the many activities in Cody to “speak” to me before I decide what to do, I already know what I am doing this weekend.

Our local ski hill Sleeping Giant Ski Area opens for the season Friday, December 12, and I plan to get in as many runs as possible all season.

Sleeping Giant Ski Area – Little Mountain, Big Fun.

If you see me on the hill, there’s a good chance I will be with my niece who is in fifth grade this year. You see, Sleeping Giant is offering free skiing all year to fifth graders nationwide, regardless of where they live, in celebration of the hill’s five-year anniversary.

Located just outside the East Gate of Yellowstone National Park 49 miles west of Cody, the 180-acre downhill ski area is owned and operated by the non-profit Yellowstone Recreations Foundation. It has three great chairlifts, snowmaking equipment, a fun magic carpet for the kids and two terrain parks. These terrain parks are awesome with quarter pipes, rails, boxes and jumps – that were constructed mostly of materials found on the mountain. Our little ski resort has 184 skiable acres Read More

It’s True. And we Have the Awards to...

December 5th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Comments(1)

Our little slice of heaven here in Cody, Wyo. just received four awards from one of my favorite magazines – True West.

I have read this publication whenever possible for as long as I can remember. Even the name of the magazine gets straight to the essence of our existence. It reminds me of the time I visited a friend in New Hampshire who was incredibly proud of his collection of Yankee magazines.

If Buffalo Bill Cody were alive today he would, at the very least, be a regular columnist if not the editor and publisher of True West.

The historic Irma Hotel years ago.

True West has published since 1953. Its mission is to “capture the spirit of the American West with authenticity, personality and humor by linking our history to our present. Whether you call it the Wild West, the Old West or the Far West, America’s frontier history comes to life in True West, the world’s oldest, continuously published Western Americana magazine.”

The magazine’s annual Heritage Travel Guide recognizes readers’ and editors’ favorite towns, parks, forts, hotels, saloons and restaurants.

Cody winners this year include Editor’s Choice for “Best Old West Town to Live In,” “Best American Indian Collection – Buffalo Bill Read More

Yellowstone Country is Calm before the Storm

November 20th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

It’s quiet here in Cody, Wyoming this week, just like it usually is around this time of year. It is a week I love.

It always seems to happen the week before Thanksgiving that I notice fewer visitors walking around our little Wyoming town. In fact, this entire Northwestern Wyoming region seems to be quiet because our neighbor to the West, Yellowstone National Park, is still closed to allow the National Park Service to get ready for the winter season, Sleeping Giant Ski Area hasn’t opened yet and most of our guests who come for Thanksgiving haven’t yet arrived.

Every display can be thoroughly studied at the Whitney Gallery of Western Art.

But even though it is quiet, there’s a great deal going on. You notice it in the restaurants and coffee shops first. Locals like me linger a little longer than usual talking quietly with friends. You see a lot of nodding and smiles, and you hear quite a bit of soft laughter coming from the booths and tables.

You see it in the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and Heart Mountain WWII Interpretive Center too. Visitors take their time to savor the exhibits, reading the signs in full, staring at Read More

Baby, it’s cold outside…so go outside...

by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Looks like our long, colorful and unusually warm autumn here in Yellowstone Country has come to an end. And if your friends are anything like mine, I’m hearing a lot of moaning and groaning about the deep freeze that has hit our little town of Cody, Wyoming. With ready access to The Weather Channel, everyone around here knows that for the next few days at least, we’re going to be cold. Very cold.

But my patience for whiners is as thin as my blood right now, so after giving my friends a day or two of time to adjust to winter in Wyoming, I tell them to quit their bellyaching and go outside and play. (I say that with a great deal of kindness and tact, of course.)

Even the Coyotes enjoy playing in the snow.

Here in Wyoming, where we roam around in cowboy boots and Stetson hats much of the year, most of us just make a few wardrobe adjustments in a nod to the realities of winter. Fortunately, our stellar sporting goods stores stock plenty of base layers, fleece and Sorels right alongside the crampons, carabiners, and skis and snowshoes for rent and purchase.

Fortunately, even when it’s cold around Read More

Quick Quiz from Cody: Guess Which State...

November 7th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Well, now that this round of elections is over I can watch television again. Or at least I don’t have to hit the mute button and go clean something in the other room during commercials.

In the last few weeks, I was reminded of the first woman elected governor in this country and how she did not even campaign. Of course, she was elected governor of the great state of Wyoming.

Wyoming State Capital, Cheyenne, Wyoming

Nellie Tayloe Ross was born November 29, 1876 in St. Joseph, Missouri, the sixth child and first daughter of James and Blair Tayloe.

Nellie spent her first seven years in St. Joseph until the family moved to Miltonvale, Kansas where she graduated from high school. After graduation, the Tayloes moved to Omaha, Nebraska where she taught piano, attended teachers college and spent four years teaching kindergarten.

Governor Nellie Tayloe Ross

In 1890 she met William Bradford Ross, an attorney whom she married in 1892. The Rosses moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming shortly after their marriage where William Ross opened a law practice and became involved with the Democratic Party. Ross ran for various offices but was defeated each time.

In 1922, however, Ross ran for governor of Wyoming and won. Read More

Halloween in Cody/Yellowstone Country...

October 31st, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

One of the best parts about living in a small town like Cody is that we celebrate events like Halloween without going over the top. We know all of the kids – big and small – will show up on mainstreet to trick or treat at downtown businesses. Someone usually throws a family or grownup party, and the emphasis is on fun instead of trying to scare each other.

Even grown-ups enjoy being someone else for a day!

Don’t tell the people who run the supposed haunted hotels in town, but I don’t believe in ghosts. I’ve heard the stories about Buffalo Bill still being spotted at the Irma with a cigar in his mouth, cleaning his pistol or hanging out in his favorite room.

The only thing that scares me about The Irma Hotel  is running out of prime rib some Saturday night, but I don’t worry about its supernatural guests.

With Halloween on a Friday this year, it is going to be fun in Cody. Early evening will be devoted to going downtown and seeing the pageant of trick-or-treaters strolling the sidewalks with their bags of candy. A few may come by my house.  Of course, early this week I bought Read More

Cody/Yellowstone Country — Unplugged

October 28th, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I appreciate the irony that comes with my telling you – in a blog read by people on computers, tablets and phones – that around here in Yellowstone Country we are pretty good at riding horses, fishing for trout and putting away our electronics.

Sure, the cell phone coverage in Cody is good and a wi-fi connection is easily found. The cable company was my friend this week as I watched baseball’s World Series and Thursday Night Football featuring the Broncos and Chargers. I might even have caught up on a guilty pleasure (slow down, Jax) or two.

A vacation in Cody, however, is best done when you unplug. I get it that sometimes you need to check your e-mail or follow up with someone back in the office. I have one friend whose attitude is that cell phones should be confiscated at the airport (or the Wyoming border if you are driving) and there should be rules against their use on city streets, in parks, at the beach and basically anywhere within three miles of him when he is outside. Even though I have pointed out to one him for several years now that connectivity allows me to get away more Read More

Honoring the Wyoming Outdoor Hall of Fame...

October 21st, 2014 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Living in the least densely populated state in the Lower 48, we here in Wyoming have a different perspective compared to other parts of the country. With just six people per square mile, it is easy to appreciate everything nature and the outdoors offer.

Even with the sweeping views of Yellowstone Country, seemingly unlimited trails and trout streams, ability to get away from technology and never ending experiential leisure opportunities, it is tempting to think our resources are inexhaustible.

That is hardly the case. As the state with the country’s first national park, first national forest and first national monument, Wyoming has a long history of conservation and of forward-thinking individuals who have worked to keep the state in good condition for generations to come.

Wide open spaces are part of Cody/Yellowstone Country.

We take things so seriously that we have the Wyoming Outdoor Hall of Fame (WYOHOF) which is operated by Wyoming Wildlife – The Foundation (now a component fund of the Wyoming Community Foundation). According to its web site, this is “a charitable, non-advocacy organization dedicated to conservation education and the funding and management of projects that benefit Wyoming wildlife. Since the year 2000, we have developed many trusted partnerships that Read More